Angry birds trap Toowoomba couple in their home

AN elderly Toowoomba husband and wife are being held prisoner in their home by angry plovers nesting in their backyard.

For the past few weeks Ann and John Siemsen haven't been able to walk outside without being attacked.

The couple don't leave the house without being armed with an umbrella and a hard hat.

Mrs Siemsen said she felt sick at the thought of going outside.

"We can't leave the house because they swoop straight away," she said.

"Whenever I have to go outside my stomach gets all upset not knowing if they are out there.

"Sometimes we think we are safe and then all of sudden the plovers appear.

Anne and John Siemsen are feeling like prisoners in their own home.
Anne and John Siemsen are feeling like prisoners in their own home. Bev Lacey

"The worst thing is they dive bomb and open their sharp wings on you.

"John is pushing 80 and he almost died last year. I'm afraid with all the stress we are under something might happen to him."

The couple's two dogs have also been confined to the home.

Mrs Siemsen said her dogs were as terrified as she was.

"One of our dogs, Holly has heart problems and she went outside recently and they went straight for her," she said.

"She's absolutely traumatised and won't leave the house."

The plovers recently welcomed three babies to their family which has made them more protective and more likely to attack.

It is not only the Siemsen couple who are being terrorised.

Other neighbouring residents have also complained about the spur-winged birds.

Mrs Siemsen and her neighbours have contacted Toowoomba Regional Council, the RSPCA and wildlife specialists with no avail.

She said contacting The Chronicle was her last desperate bid to have someone listen to her.

"I'm going to have a hell of a phone bill because I have been constantly calling around to try and get someone to help," she said.

"I was really upset with the lack of help from the council because we are getting on in age and we aren't able to get rid of them ourselves.

"No one seems to care that we have been confined to our home.

"It's a horrible feeling."

The couple have lived in the Harristown home for 52 years and has never had a problem.

"We have lived here for most of our lives and this is the first major issue we have had," she said.

"Every morning for almost 20 years I have been feeding friendly birds in our front yard.

"I always used to think it was silly that people could be afraid of birds but now I know why."


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